The daily life in the primary school of Taillères, in the La Brévine valley, is filmed over the course of an entire school year, from 1959 to 1960. Henry Brandt’s film, which won the Vela d’argento in Locarno in 1961, is a unique testimony to pedagogical processes, with a tender observation of the relationship between the young protagonists, their place of birth and the adult world.
A middle-aged TV reporter goes to the inn of a small Swiss village to do a programme with a reclusive scientist, an expert on world food shortages. During this time, a local worker is killed in a road crash and the reporter becomes involved in uncovering the truth about his death.
Yaaba unfolds in the spectacular landscapes of rural Burkina Faso in a mythical time when peasant life was still unspoiled by colonialism. It is the story of a friendship between Bila, Nopoko and an old woman shunned as a witch by the rest of the community. Unafraid of her, twelve-year old Bila calls her “Yaaba” (grandmother) and learns the value of intolerance and his own worth as a human being. Ouédraogo, who shot the film in his own village, said that it was “based on tales of my childhood and on that kind of bedtime storytelling we hear just before falling asleep.”
An old barber finds himself at a loss when called upon to shave an unusually jittery customer. When all attempts at idle everyday chatter fail to calm the man, the barber desperately falls back on his last resort: to tell the only secret he knows.
The titular Marie-Louise is a young French lass who is evacuated to Switzerland when her country is overrun by the Nazis. Suffering a nervous breakdown, she is given comfort and shelter by a wealthy family. Unfortunately, living in the lap of luxury makes Marie-Louise hesitant to return home to her mother and war torn home. Eventually the girl comes to her senses, but it isn’t easy.
Alexandre, a TV reporter, is working for a few days in a border town, where a lot of refugees from Albania, Turkey and Kurdistan are packed in. Among them, he notices an old man and thinks he is an important Greek politician who disappeared mysteriously a few years ago. Back in Athens, he asks this politician’s former wife to come and identify him. A slow and dry meditation about the inhumanity of borders.
The theme of Fredi M. Murer’s contribution to the episode film Swissmade is “Switzerland after us”. Murer’s episode takes place in the year 2069. An “integrated citizen with a latent tendency to become an unintegrated citizen” is commissioned by the “Brain Center” to produce a film report about the unknown mission of a foreign being. The alien being is an extraterrestrial designed by H. R. Giger long before ALIEN with a built-in camera and tape, which travels across the earth in the year 2069 to explore current conditions.
Mambéty describes what would be his final film as “a hymn to the courage of street children,” but like all of his works, it is also a hymn to Senegal, to post-colonial Africa and to resourceful visionaries like the courageous girl of the title. Undaunted by poverty or handicap, the young Sili Laam leaves her blind grandmother begging in the street to seek out a better existence for them both. As the only female newspaper seller, she encounters constant obstacles along the way, yet reacts by simply standing up for herself and others. Nonchalantly fighting for equality and justice, Sili’s courage and resilience are depicted with a mix of joy and hardship, but no saccharine.